Monument to the Dean of Michigan's Tourism Activity
If someone asked, "Who has had a rock pyramid built in their honor?" you might think of an Egyptian pharaoh or an Aztec king. You would probably not think of a bespectacled, middle-aged, mid-western man named Hugh J. Gray. Nevertheless, Hugh has one -- on a smaller scale compared to the ones in Egypt and Mexico, but a rock pyramid nevertheless.
Hugh was, according to the plaque on his pyramid, the "Dean of Michigan's Tourist Activity." The pyramid, erected in 1938, stands on Cairn Highway, named apparently in reference to Hugh's pile of rocks. Cairn Highway is an obscure back road today, which says something about the transient nature of fame.
Hugh's pyramid is built of rocks from each of Michigan's 83 counties. Its plaque notes, at the bottom, that "This Point is Halfway Between the Equator and the North Pole." This is wishful thinking; the meridian is more than a mile north of here [coincidentally, also marked by a series of plaques-on-rocks put up in 1938, in a line across Michigan and Wisconsin, by latitude-obsessed newspaper publisher and freemason Frank E. Noyes.]
According to a 1940 tourism publication, Carefree Days in West Michigan - Playground of the Nation, the 2-year old cairn had already become "one of the most photographed points of interest in Michigan."